5 things to know today: Employee mandate, Walz visit, Governors frustrated, Rebuffed request, Cat declawing

1. With a view to the COVID-19 delta variant, Sanford Health is only going with the vaccination mandate for employees

All Sanford Health employees, including the Good Samaritan Society of the health system sites, must report their vaccinations by November 1st, all new employees from September 1st must be vaccinated, and all employees who have been vaccinated in the past 12 years Months have met the requirement.

Read more from Jeremy Fugleberg at Forum News Service

2. As the drought worsens, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to affected farmers in Crookston

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz listens as farmer Jim Reitmeier (right) of Crookston (right) touring with Ben Genereux (left) of Centrol Ag Consulting about the dry conditions on Thursday, July 22, 2021 speaks in his fields. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks HeraldNick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

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Less than two years after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was in Polk County to hear from farmers whose crops were damaged by excessive rainfall, he returned Thursday, July 22nd, to raise concerns about the to listen to the increasingly severe drought.

About 35 farmers, including members of resource and agriculture organizations and the Minnesota Legislature, gathered at Jim Reitmeier’s farm northwest of Crookston on July 22nd to speak with Walz about the damage the arid conditions are doing to their crops and row crops to have. Meanwhile, the damage the drought is wreaking on ranchers’ farms and ranches is worse, farmers said.

Read more from Ann Bailey at Forum News Service

3. Minnesota, North Dakota governors are frustrated with the ongoing border closure

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to an audience gathered at Reitmeier Farm north of Crookston, Minnesota, after touring the drought conditions on Thursday, July 22, 2021.  Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz speaks to an audience gathered at Reitmeier Farm north of Crookston, Minnesota, after touring the drought conditions on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks HeraldNick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Northern United States governors, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, are dismayed that Canadians are still unable to cross the international border into the United States.

The border between the United States and Canada has been closed since March 2020 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, July 21, the Biden government extended non-essential travel restrictions for at least another month. Two days before the government’s decision, Canada announced on Aug. 9 that it would reopen its border for non-essential travel to fully vaccinated US citizens.

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4. Fargo area board member declined to join the President’s NDSU search group

A bison statue on the North Dakota State University campus.  Photo of the forum file

A bison statue on the North Dakota State University campus. Photo of the forum file

A member of the State Board of Higher Education from West Fargo was unable to secure a place on the search committee for the next president of North Dakota State University despite voicing “concerns in the Fargo community”.

The board of directors unanimously voted on Thursday, July 22nd, to hire a consulting firm to find the successor to President Dean Bresciani. The 11-year-old NDSU boss will leave office at the end of 2022 after the board failed to renew his contract last month.

Jeffry Volk, who joined the state board of higher education earlier this year, said he wanted to be on the search committee because he is from the Fargo area and has close ties with the NDSU.

Read more from the April Baumgarten forum

5. 2 FM veterinary clinics permanently interrupt the declawing of cats

Kittens are from Fargos Cats Cradle Shelter / photo illustration by Troy Becker / The Forum

Kittens are from Fargos Cats Cradle Shelter / photo illustration by Troy Becker / The Forum

At least two veterinary clinics in the Fargo-Moorhead area have chosen to scratch cat’s claws as one of their services.

The Animal Health Clinic, 1441 S. University Drive, was the first to publicly announce that they would be on a permanent pause. In a May 24 post on Facebook, the veterinary clinic said “We’re giving cats a voice” by deciding to end the amputations.

Read more from Helmut Schmidt from the forum